Celebrate! Creative Valentine's Day Ideas on a Military Family Budget & Schedule

Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 08:02 AM Danielle Keech Military Life

Valentine's Day is nearly here! And, while some of us might enjoy an extravagant holiday, it's not always realistic with the military lifestyle. Finances simply may not allow it, and there's also a possibility your spouse will be deployed over Valentine's Day.

However, deployment and fixed budgets don't mean that you can't still express your love and appreciate your spouse. In fact, there are many creative and budget-friendly ways you can celebrate this year...whether you're tight on money or your spouse is deployed.

Follow along for some Cupid-worthy ideas if you're working with a tight budget this year.


Order takeout. 

The best Valentine's Day my husband and I had was a couple years ago, and it cost less than $30. We had just PCS’d, didn't have a house yet and were “enjoying” an extended stay in a hotel with our U-haul parked out back along with our two cars.

With everything a little up in the air, my husband and I decided it best not to spend money on a nice dinner out. Instead, we settled on Domino's pizza and a six pack each. We each ate our own medium pizza out of the box, sitting on our hotel bed with our dogs begging us to share with them. It was the best!  

Give creatively. 

If you're wanting to give a gifts without spending money, give each other coupons. You can be creative but some ideas are “one free massage,” “one free foot rub,” clean the house for a week, etc. If you use a little imagination, you can really have fun with this gift!

Camp out.

If you can't afford to get away to a hotel for the night, camp out in your backyard or even in your home.

Shortly after getting married, author of Operation: Patiently Waiting, Jessi and her hubby wanted to celebrate the holiday memorably. As newlyweds without a disposable income, they chose not to go away for an expensive weekend, but instead spent a weekend in. So they built a sheet fort in their living room, strung Christmas lights through it, ordered pizza, and enjoyed a cozy weekend together. As untraditional it was, it soon became her favorite holiday.


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If your spouse is deployed right now, you can still make them feel special.

Send a care package. 

Lizann of The Seasoned Spouse made up a box of goodies for her husband including classy photos of herself. With the possibility of others seeing them, she kept them modest, and he appreciated having the photos with him for the remainder of his deployment.

Alyssa from Arts and Crackers sends a package to her hubby filled with paper hearts saying all the things that she and the kids love about him. This allows them to do something meaningful for the holiday, but also keep it low-key and inexpensive.

Celebrate with your kids or friends. 

Author of The Coastie Couple Pamela says that if your spouse is gone this Valentine's Day, enjoy a date night out with the girls! You can also celebrate the evening with the kiddos. Make the day special for them and grab a mug of hot chocolate, take turns sharing things you love, eat candy, bake, and watch movies. Valentine's Day can still be about love without being a romantic holiday.

Whether you are on a tight budget or your spouse is deployed, here's wishing you your best Valentine's Day! 

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